Thursday, 28 May 2015

Blog Tour: Author Interview 'The Lost Child' - Ann Troup

Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.

Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.

As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…

For fans of Lesley Thomson, Diane Chamberlain and Rosamund Lupton

Author: Ann Troup
Title: The Lost Child
Publishers: Carina
Publication Date: 21st May 2015
Link: Amazon

Welcome to Sincerely Book Angels blog.
Hello, and thanks so much for having me here today.

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
The idea for The Lost Child has been rattling around in my mind for some time. For a long time I was a psychiatric nurse and I often worked with people who had been affected by loss, even some who’d had to deal with the tragedy of having lost a child or family member in traumatic and mysterious circumstances. Though my book is not based on any one person’s experience, the plot is based around how such a thing can have a devastating effect on individuals and whole communities. In my experience we often have to fight for our happy endings in life. I wanted to write a novel that shows what happens when secrets and lies are allowed to run riot, and how tenacity and determination can win the day. So, the inspiration behind the book comes from my past experience and my imagination. I suppose all stories start with the question ‘what if…?’

Did you always want to be a writer?
I think I always fantasised about being a writer, but for a long time didn’t believe that it would ever come to anything. I have always written and always enjoyed the process, and I had ‘publish a novel’ on my bucket list. I have always been someone with a can do attitude, even if I’m really bad at things I will always have a go and see what happens. Writing hasn’t turned out too badly, but baking…well, no matter how many times I say ‘I can do that’, I am the world’s worst baker. My homemade bread could be used as a weapon of mass destruction and even my dog refuses my cakes. I think it’s why I stick to crime and mystery, I’m far better equipped for dark, twisty and disastrous than I am for anything else! But I do like a neat ending and will always tie up the loose ends in my books.

What other jobs have you had?
Well, as I mentioned, I was a psychiatric nurse for quite a few years. I have also worked with young offenders and women who have been victims of domestic violence – which is where the dark and twisty side of me comes from I think. In more recent years I have owned an Art Gallery and a café (you’ll be relieved to hear that I didn’t do the baking, but I can whip up a mean bacon sandwich). Now I get to write full time, which is a real luxury and one that I appreciate every day.

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
As it was only recently I think it’s still sinking in. At first it was a combination of massive excitement and abject terror – it’s out there, but what will people think? Fortunately, so far, I’ve had some lovely, considerate and well thought out reviews, which is wonderful. It’s a lovely feeling to know that people have enjoyed something that you have created, but also a worry as I know not everyone will like it. I’d be a rare person if I could please everyone.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
I don’t think I ever have, though sometimes I look back at what I have written in a day and wonder how my brain could have spilled out such dire verbiage. Thank goodness for self-editing and editors! I suppose I just keep writing and worry about it later, if the words are on the page they can be changed, it’s only if they don’t exist at all that writers block might become a problem. Fortunately for me I am never short of something to say, maybe not quite so fortunate for everyone else though ;)

What motivates you to keep writing?
Mostly the hundreds of stories and characters that pop up in my head, unless I write them down the ideas and people wont leave me alone so I am compelled to tell their stories and give them voice. It’s quite hard to make lots of money from writing, despite the few massive success stories we hear about, so for me the motivation is the sheer pleasure I get from indulging my imagination.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Read widely in your preferred genre, learn from those who do it well but make sure to find your own voice.
If you are going to pitch to agents, do your homework, read their submission guidelines and follow them. Most rejections happen because people don’t follow the rules.
Write to please yourself and write the book you want to read. If it doesn’t please you, it’s unlikely to please anyone else.

Who is your favourite author and why?
This is never an easy question; there are so many authors who have written wonderful books. My instant, buy everything she has ever written author is Kate Atkinson. She writes beautifully, intelligently and can do things with the English language that I can only dream of, I am never disappointed by her books and they often stay with me for a long time. A book that haunts me afterwards is a good book. I’m also quite fond of a good Lee Child, a bit of Jack Reacher and his particular brand of rough justice can shake my darkest moods.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Crikey, that’s a hard one. I’m quite old fashioned in my music tastes so I think it would have to be Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel. It’s very short but the lyrics sum up the themes in The Lost Child perfectly.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
First it’s very hard to choose a favourite character, so if you don’t mind me being cheeky I’m going to choose two. I would cast Jason Isaacs as Dan because he’s a bit tasty and I think he would be able to get the moodiness spot on. She’s probably a bit old to do it now, but I’d have Noomi Rapace as Brodie, I think she’d be able to handle both the attitude and the innocence of Brodie’s character, but I wonder if she’d manage the Devon accent? – I’ve lived here for thirteen years and I still can’t master it

Thank you so much Ann for joining us on our blog today and good luck with the book.

Enter here for your chance to win a £5 Amazon voucher courtesy of Ann Troup

Book Angels

About the Author

Ann lives in Devon in a small house just a pebble’s throw from the beach. She shares her home with her husband and a small white dog, both occasionally allow her to be inattentive to them so that she can write. Her many skills include an unparalleled ability to consume coffee and the gift of being able to kill houseplants by merely admiring them. In addition to that she is a great proponent of the Miss Havisham method of housekeeping, which includes regarding cobwebs and dust as nature’s ornaments. Her debut novel The Lost Child will be published by Carina UK on 19/5/2015.

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